Thousands turn out to bid farewell to Indonesia's former first lady Ani Yudhoyono

   A portrait and the casket of the late former Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono seen during the funeral ceremony at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery complex in Jakarta on June 2, 2019.
A portrait and the casket of the late former Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono seen during the funeral ceremony at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery complex in Jakarta on June 2, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS
   Flower baskets are pictured during the funeral ceremony of the late former Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery complex in Jakarta on June 2, 2019.
Flower baskets are pictured during the funeral ceremony of the late former Indonesian First Lady Ani Yudhoyono at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery complex in Jakarta on June 2, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - The wife of Indonesia's sixth president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was buried following a military funeral in Jakarta on Sunday (June 2), which was attended by thousands of family members, friends, military personnel and members of the public.

Mrs Ani Yudhoyono, 66, died at the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore at 11.50am last Saturday, after four months of treatment for leukaemia.

Her body was flown from Paya Lebar Air Base to Indonesia's Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in East Jakarta, and later transported to her house in Cikeas, Bogor, in West Java.

The funeral, held at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta, was led by President Joko Widodo and attended by other high-profile figures, including former presidents BJ Habibie and Megawati Soekarnoputri and former vice-presidents Try Sutrisno and Boediono.

Also present were foreign guests, including Singapore's Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, along with officials from the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar, as well as the Australian, Japan and South Korean ambassadors to Indonesia.

In his remarks, Mr Joko noted that Indonesia had lost one of its most high-profile figures, "an affectionate first lady" and "a sincere defender of humanity", who has led by example as a mother, wife and first lady.

"We all know... that her entire life has been dedicated to the interest of our nation and state. She is a very loyal wife in good and bad times, passing though challenging days in accompanying our sixth president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in building our beloved nation," he said.


Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre) accompanied by his sons and daughters lay flowers during his wife Kristiani Yudhoyono's funeral ceremony at the National Hero cemetery in Jakarta on June 2, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

 
 
 

Mrs Yudhoyono, whose maiden name was Kristiani Herrawati, was an avid photographer. Her pictures were compiled in a book titled The Colors of Harmony. Copies were shared with first ladies from neighbouring countries during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2013, which Indonesia hosted.

She was also active on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, where she documented and shared her activities, including her blood cancer treatment at NUH, with 6.4 million followers.

The mother of two sons and grandmother to four grandchildren, also published eight books that she wrote and co-wrote.

In his speech, her elder son, Mr Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, quoted one of her thoughts in her book titled The Flap Of A Soldier, published in 2010: "Each one of us will return, united with the earth. When the time comes, it is the values we lived by that will perfume our final resting place."

"Goodbye, Memo. We love you, and we will forever miss you," Mr Agus said, calling her by her affectionate moniker. "Thank you for your prayers and sacrifice, service and dedication, for the family, the people, the nation and the state. The best prayers from us, Indonesian people, will accompany your step and departure."